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the power of enchantment on them, and the spell was removed. But they remained sore, and were obliged to use remedies; and they became lowspirited and ashamed.
The next evening, the druid Croda went out to view the sky, and saw coming to him Fear Fatha, the enchanter of that country, who thus questioned him in a poem :— "What noise is that, north by the ford,
tell me, agreeable Croda? What has brought the hosts? name it,
if it be proper,
What land they go to as foes, and each adventure they are on," &c.
And when Crotha had informed his brother sage of the name of the chief, and the object of the expedition, he replied:
"The hosts of Munster of the hills are not here, or they'd give thee a blow on thy head."
But the hewers of wood, and the messengers, and the chariot-drivers, had an ear for the discourse of the wise men, and they told the army, and the armed men pursued Fear Fatha across the stream. But he struck the waters with his magic rod, and they overflowed and surrounded the troops of Cormac till next day. And there they remained, dispirited, till the sons of Miscadach made the river sink back into its bed.
At the flight of the third day Cecht began to scan the east, and the firmament over the host, and he went eastwards to Glean Salach and met Artan the druid. Very sore were the words they uttered against each other, and they spoke in verses such as these:"Cecht, what has brought you from the
north, from the land of Moy Sleacht?' A cow-destruction that came to Taraalas, great was the loss!' 'You shall not carry a cow from the men of Munster above all,
As a cumhal, nor as tribute, by your hand, but only my malediction." 'If Cairbre the renowned heard the words thou sayest, Artan,
Or Cormac the stout tower, thou wouldst be without a head.'
'I care no more for Cormac and Cairbre than for two chattering giollas,
In the country of Mocha Corb the just, and of Fiacha Muilleathan,'" &c., &c.
When the troops heard this they went out in pursuit of Artan, beyond the glen westward, and they said, we will bring death and final fate on this druid.' But he turned his face upon them, and he put confidence in his gods; and he put the breath of a druid in the air, and in the firmament, and he made a dark cloud over the host, which falling put a bewildering fairy spell upon them. And they were seven days and seven nights pursuing him, and every morning he put his tracks in the openings of passes to mislead them. But when Cormac feared his army would be lost, and upbraided Colpa and Lurga, they entered into the depths of their wisdom and their learning, and they dispelled the spell of the troops, and they returned at the end of the seventh morn.
At the next twilight in Ath Cro, Cithach happened to go out to scan the air and the firmament, and there met him a man of his own age, that is, Dubhfis son of Dofis, and they asked a story of each other; and Dubhfis said and Cithach answered, and they composed a poem, which was no better and very little worse than that composed eight days before by the wise men Cecht and Artan, and need not be related at length.
But when the hewers of wood, and the drivers of chariots, and the foot giollas, related what they had heard to King Cormac,* he would not allow his host to wage battle and conflict on Dubhfis son of Dofis, for he remembered former punishment. And on the next evening the men of Leith Conn reached Imluich Iban, where Cithmor went forth to view the clouds and the sky, that he might know the fate of the army.
He there got sight of the wise man of magic, Meadhran. And they got into conversation and discourse, and Meadhran said the poem, and Cithmor answered :
It may strike some readers that it showed great ignorance or negligence on the part of the wise men to allow their evening conferences to be overheard by the camp followers. They are certainly obnoxious to the censure if they did not talk at their listeners with set purpose.
'What you will do of evil to them, will be revenged in one day.
If yonder he go, little will be his strength; justly weak will he be, Cithmor.'
At last they reached Cnoc na Ceann (hill of heads), called afterwards the "Hill of Bellowing Oxen" (Knoc Long near Limerick), and there Cormac fixed to set up his royal tent, and summon Leath Mocha for tribute. Set up the pole of my tent, O Cithrua," said he, "for this thou hast done for my father and grandfather." And Cithrua essayed to do it, and though his strength was as that of a score, yet neither the brown clay nor the grass would admit the hard, sharp point of the tent-pole. "Be this a last warning to you, O Cormac, that your claim is unjust, and that you are here to meet defeat from the host of Fiacha."
"What's to be done now?" said Cormac. "This is to be done," said Cithrua, and the other druids; "here are numerous companies of men-let them collect sods and cover the hills, and so shall the royal tent be set up.' This was done. Three days and three nights were spent in settling the camp, and Cithrua and his brothers were rebuked by Colpa for their backwardness in helping out the designs of Cormac. But they said they foresaw their own deaths, and the defeat of Cormac in the expedition. "Nor will you be better off," said they; "yourself, and Lurga, and the druidesses, Eirgi, Eang, and Eangan, will perish by the dread power of Mocha Rua, chief of living druids."
At the end of three days messen-gers went to the king of Leath Mocha demanding cumhal and tribute, or single combat. Cumhal or tribute was refused, but a single combat was offered on the third day. So the men of Munster were marshalled in twenties. Every commander of a score was equal in skill and valour to
twenty men, and every one of his warriors to nine. There were Fionn's xx, Feargus's xx, Doncha's xx, Donn's xx, &c. And Mocha Corb, son of Cormac Cas, son of Oilioll Oluim, was to be their eulogizer; and twentyscore and eight men marched to Ath Colpa, to meet the same number from Leath Conn in strife and fierce battle. Cairbre Liffeachair, son of Cormac, was to be the eulogizer of the warriors from the north, but not a man of them would put the right foot beyond the left, when the morning of the fight lighted up the hills.
Then went on Colpa alone, and engaged the adverse warriors at Ath Colpa, and fierce was the contest, and powerful were the blows. It was blow for blow they dealt each other, and a reply to the reply. Three times that day were his arms and armour forced from Colpa, and his blows and his fury were only increased. Through the wounds in Fionn's body you could see the sky, but still he fought for three days, and then was slain.
And so Colpa, by going into the secrets of his knowledge, and learning, and deviltry, and by putting confidence in his gods, slew Fionn and his twenty men. Then did Lurga maintain battle and conflict with Failve and his twenty men; and day after day the fight was fought, until eighty and two hundred were slain of the men of Leath Mocha; and there was not a wound on the bodies of Colpa nor Lurga so large as the tip of a fly's wing.
Then did Cormac demand the fight of three against three hundred; and Eirgi, Eang, and Eangan came to the ford in the appearance of three gray sheep, with bony heads, with iron jaws, with strength to destroy a hundred in the day of battle, and the swiftness of swallows in flight. Yet all the point and edge of the world could not cut wool nor hair from them. And so did the warriors of the South prepare, each man his hard red-spotted darts, his hard, starry shield, his three heavy glaives (chloidhim), and his ready spears formed for performing deeds of destruction and slaughter. And during all that first day they were occupied in defending themselves against the charges of the sheep, and striving in vain to pierce them with their sharp darts, and the casts from their long, heavy, sharp
lances, or wound them with their sharp cutting glaives; but not so much as a tuft of wool or a lock of hair were they able to shear away. Nor did the sheep do them more harm on that day than break with furious blows from their hard, bony heads, the arms and armour of the warriors. And at night both parties retired to their camps.
Next morning began the strife of death and destruction for the men of the South. The loud, ringing, very heavy blows of the swords on the bony heads of the sheep, and the battering of the hard shields by the same heads, were heard in the two camps, while the three druidesses charged under them, over them, and through them, till the ford was filled by the bodies, and the banks were covered by them. And the sheep made a pile of the dead bodies, and the silken shirts, and the arms, and the armour; and those who remained alive carried their dead brothers to the camp, and all raised a loud shout of grief over the slain heroes. But from that day forward the Munster men would no more stand in battle array against the druids of Cormac, son of Art.
Once more Cormac demanded tribute of the chiefs of Ficha, and they would not pay it; and then he gave directions to his druids, and they entered into the depths of their learning, and they had confidence in their gods, and they breathed a strong druidical breath on the clouds, and the heaths, and the spring heads; and all the streams, and rivers, and lakes in the South were dried up, and the men were afflicted with unbearable thirst. Then Cormac again demanded cumhal and tribute, and it was refused, for they brought from all parts of Leath Mocha to the camp, curds and whey, and cheese, and the warriors, were able to keep the life within them.
* Druim, ridge of a hill.
At last the druids got new orders from Cormac, and they flung a baleful druidical breath on the horses, and asses, and cows, and sheep, and goats of Leath Mocha, and their milk was stayed, and nothing was heard through the land but the neighing, and lowing, and braying, and bleating, and sneezing of the cattle.
The tribute was again asked, and again it was refused, for they mixed the blood of the cattle with dew gathered from the grass and the leaves before the sun rose. But at last the warriors became as weak as infants of a week old, and Fiacha finally agreed to pay cumhal and tribute.
Then did pride and haughtiness enter the heart of Cormac, and he laid heavy tributes and burthens on the people of Leath Mocha, so that were it not that death and the doom of final fate waited at their doors, they would not agree to the demand of the people of Leath Conn.
At this time Dil, grandfather to Fiacha, came to the camp from his fort of Druim* Dil in the Desies; and when they told him their straits and their distress, he said to them "There is only one man within the four seas of Erinn that can relieve you, and that is Mocha Rua, your foster father, O Fiacha, whose abode is in the Isle of Dairbre (Valencia). He is the only man in Erinn that entered a sighe to acquire knowledge of enchantment, and the sighe he entered was Cairn Breachtnahan, and his tutoress, the Druidess Banbuanane, daughter of Deargdualach. There is no one within or without a sighe, that can equal him in magic. But I am sure he will require a fine tract of land, and will not choose to be a Roy Damhna‡ (successor elect) to this or the other prince, for he finds himself too solitary and too confined in his island of wave-beaten rocks. Said Fiacha and his chiefs-" Bring Mocha Rua
The constant reference to the loves of mortals and the fairy ladies of the sighes, probably arose from such circumstances as are related concerning Rhea Sylvia and Norma, the lovely inhabitants of our fairy caverns being the priestesses or druidesses attending the altars of the divinities of the streams, the forests, and the hills, and in time taken for the goddesses themselves. As inferior worship was paid to the clouds and the winds, the druidical breath "infused into the air" was probably a poetic incantation addressed to the powers that were supposed to direct these modifications of air and water.
The succession to kingdoms or chieftaincies being elective, the successor was always chosen during the life of the reigning sovereign. A great deal of rioting and anarchy was prevented by this judicious arrangement.
to us, O Dil, and promise him whatever his soul or heart desires."
So Dil went westwards, and nothing is said of his journey till he stood before Mocha Rua; and the man inquired, and the other answered, till the druid deeply skilled in magic, knew of the sufferings and the straits of the people of the south country.
Then said Mocha Rua "Great is the distress of the people of Muimhe, and it is I only who can relieve them. These are the things I demand, and Mocha Corb, son of Cormac Cas, son of Oilioll Oluim, and Donn Dairine, and other princes must ensure their delivery that is to say, 100 milch cows, 100 swine, 100 oxen capable of labour, 100 steeds with their trappings, fifty handmaidens, and the daughter of the second best man in Munster for my wife. I must get as much land of my own choosing as my giolla can walk round in a day, and be appointed master of the ridhairs (cavalry) of Leath Mocha. I am also to be the king's chief adviser, and my son, and his son, and all my direct heirs are to enjoy these rights after me.'
So Dil returned to the camp, and told all that the man of deep knowledge had said; and Mocha Corb, and Donn Dairine, and the other sureties arose and proceeded to the dwelling of Mocha, and he entertained them with the best, and he and they bound themselves to each other in words of poetry, and then he prepared for his journey.
Mocha Rua desired his disciple, Ceanvar, to bring him his travelling equipage, that is to say, his two fair straight-horned oxen from Slia Mis, and his handsome, strong, mountainash chariot, with its spokes of bronze, and many carbuncle stones, and night and the light of day were alike to those who were in it, and his shining sword, and his yew-tree bow, and his two well-made spears, and his untanned bull's hide in his chariot, on the sides and on the seat beneath him, and his host of 130 followers along with him.
As they journeyed eastwards these nobles asked him who would choose land and territory for him, and he answered, "To no living person will I intrust that but to myself; give me the earth of each country we pass through, and I will choose the best
by its smell, and I will blame no one for the choice, be it good or be it bad."
They came to Glen Beithvé, in the country of Corca Duine, and he put the earth of it to his nose, and said this poem, refusing it :
"Hilly, boggy, hungry, Beithve, unpleasant vessel,
Sheltering place of wolves, dread way of
No residence of valiant hosts.
After that they came to Eoganacht, in Corca Duine, and to Aescuilé, and Ealla (Duhallow), and he said these lines, refusing lands and possessions in these last two districts :
"Small hilly valleys, Ealla of nooks of hares,
Meeting place of strangers and thieves! Abode of wild swine and of the wild deer;
Unfriendly, unfortunate, dirty, thin bare woods."
They passed Muskerry, and at Cean Abhra there was brought to him the earth of Min Mairtine, and he would not accept it. This is part of the poem he made when he had put the earth to his nose :
"A wet laky place; great its firs;
Great its waters; great its rivers;
Then was brought to him soil from the country of Fir-Muighe (Fermoy, free land), which is also called Fir Muighe Mené, for minerals are in its mountains, and minerals are in every field of it. On the earth of this country being brought to him, he said these words, choosing it as his reward :—
"Woody mountains, woody plains!
A plain abounding in pleasant streams,
Where will be multiplied generations,
them, iron on them;
Mocha Rua then began rooting up the ground in search for the water, and he began this poem :
Draughts of refreshment-I PRAY."
When this was over the water burst the fastnesses of the earth, and great was its noise; and he told them all to save themselves from the waters. And Ceanvar (Mocha Rua's familiar), on seeing the waters flooding forth, pronounced an exultant charm on them, and prophesied all the benefit they would bring to Fiacha and his long-enduring and heroic warriors.
Mocha Rua invited the king to drink, the flaiths to drink, the keepers of large herds and owners of fertile lands to drink, and the common people and their cattle to drink; and they went to the water in groups and in companies, and they all stooped down, both men and steeds and herds, until they were satisfied. After this the water was let flow to all the people, and it was let flow through the glens, and rivers, and springs of the province, and the magic spell that was laid on them was removed.*
After this the men of Munster raised their shout of triumph, and it was heard in the camp of Cormac; and messengers were sent to say that neither ransom nor tribute would be given to the King of Leath Conn. They were seized with wonder when they saw the flowing of the waters; but their fright and terror was very great when Mocha Rua raised a clear druidic cloud between the two camps, and magnified his own form through it. His head appeared like a high hill
covered with wood, his eyes like two fires, and his mouth a dark cavern.
If they were terrified at this druidic appearance of Mocha Rua, the terrors of desolation were on them when they saw his foster-brother, Gaura, sister's son to Beanbuanane, the druidess, walking round their high camp. He made his hair like the firs on a hill, and his knees were turned backwards. His dress was hung all over with the teeth, and bones, and horns of wild deer, and rams, and boars, and he swung an iron club in his right hand, and he gave three deafening screams that turned the blood in the men of Leath Conn to cold ice.
When he returned to the camp of Fiacha, his foster-brother thus addressed him :
"Thou hast come, O Gaura,
To bring on Leath Conn dark powers of
To bring trembling and fear on their hosts. The hosts of Cormac will fly, will scream
Is it in companies of twos and threes,
The camp of Cormac was raised by the sods gathered by the soldiers, and by the draoidheacht of Colpa and Lurga, to a great height; and the troops of Leath Mocha could not see what was passing therein. So now they besought Mocha Rua to reduce its pride and its elevation, and be pronounced this charm against it :
66 I subdue, I subdue ramparts, I subdue clouds of darkness;
I subdue enchantment, I subdue magic spe'ls and deeds;
I unseat hill off hill till they lie beneath
I defy, I defy in the glory of my strength
And of Lurga the Swift, till they be slain
And of Eirgi, Eing, and Eangan."
The hill soon went to nothing in dark clouds and wreaths of mist; and it was terrifying to hear the shouts of the army, the rushing of the steeds,
* As there was in reality a descent made by Cormac on Leath Mocha, and the Munster forces suffered much from want of water, the probability is, that instead of two camps placed opposite to each other, the northern forces had invested the camp of the Southrons, and cut off their supplies. In this case the relief would come from the skill and engiLeering talents of some one. There is nothing to prevent a druid from performing that good work, nor is it out of the order of things that his name might be Red Mocha.